Smith looking for more effective passing game

Quarterbacks coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator Rod Smith knows the passing game must improve. Read on to see why he thinks B.J. Denker is the starter, how to fix the passing game, and more.

It's no secret that Arizona has struggled with its passing game in the first two games of the season, but Quarterbacks coach Rod Smith is quick to answer when asked what separates B.J. Denker from the other signal callers.

"B.J. has more experience right now than all of them," Smith said. "He has been in our system longer than all of them and that is only a year, so this is year two for him. Really he hasn't been here two years.

"He understands what we are trying to get done. He understands the reads. He knows where his eyes are supposed to be."

Smith says that a lot of Arizona's offensive success is based on the reads that the quarterbacks make and that is where Denker has done well so far.

"So much of what we do is what we call eye discipline, making sure you are making the right read, because the quarterback needs to make a read just about every play," Smith said. "You can't just look at one aspect and say he is just a thrower.

"He makes reads in the run game, he makes reads in the pass game and sometimes he does both. His eye discipline has to be so good and he is by far right now the best at that."

Still, Smith and Denker realize that the passing game must improve in order to increase Arizona's chances of continuing to win.

"Obviously, like I told him, we need to start completing more balls," Smith said. "Especially in man coverage. When they give us opportunities to score, it's one on one coverage, we need to make sure we give the receiver a chance."

At this point, Smith expects teams to load the box and force Arizona to throw, which is something that he does not disagree with.

"I would," Smith said. "That's basically what UNLV did. They give you opportunities and if they are there, we will try to exploit it. We will keep attacking it like we are. We want to be able to run the football, we want to be able to pass the football.

"We want to do them both effectively. Right now we are doing one pretty good and the other we have a lot more to be desired. We will keep working on it."

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